Thank you for the positive reception of this story! I hope you also read my other ones and leave a review.

MiraXus is such an adorable couple. I just realized that they're now my anime OTP and I can't even justify it in a canon way. You know, I just have a gut feeling that it could happen but then it's also alright if they don't end up together. LOL. Please Mashima-sensei, you're one of the most brilliant manga-ka when it comes to pairing people up! I mean, NaLu (and the possibility with Lisanna), GrUvia, ElfEver, etc. I mean… c'mon! :D You've been dropping hints of MiraXus! :D (I can't stop grinning.)

So, I'm just gonna start writing and I'd put up a disclaimer that I don't own FT and I'm not Hiro Mashima but then again, he's a writer/artist after my own heart!


Chapter 2

A Trip to Paradise

Laxus Dreyar was currently surveying his house. He had one suitcase packed but it was humongous, the type that only a man of his size could carry. This was a month-long mission and they had to pretend to be a family, which meant that he wasn't allowed to spend too much money on personal belongings and had to bring what he already had.

What the fuck is going on exactly?

He didn't know what to think about this mission. It seemed that the client was going to pay them a lot of money if it was going to cover all the damage the guild has caused. Even he couldn't measure the accumulated debts. He actually pitied his grandfather for facing all the complaints and the trouble. This was also one of the reasons why he suddenly doubted his desire of being guild master.

After his exile, all of his ambitions just flew out of the window. He was a blank sheet – not quite knowing who he was and what he stood up for. When he was younger, he was always Makarov Dreyar's son. He was someone that everybody was expecting a lot of things from. When he was a teenager and his father got banished from the guild, he became Ivan Dreyar's son – someone hell-bent on revenge and restoring his father's good name. He was angry at his grandfather for not valuing the bonds of blood, not really understanding how a guild was more important than your own son.

And when he reached his early twenties, he wanted to get out from the shadows of his grandfather's and father's name and establish a name of his own. That desire still hasn't left him now but of course, back then, his means and ends were different. In the past, he wanted to become the guild master and establish Fairy Tail as the strongest guild without any hint of weaknesses. He wanted to overthrow his grandfather and prove once and for all that he was the strongest.

But before the incident in Tenroujima, he was wandering alone everywhere his feet could take him. He went to places where someone knew him. He went to place where no one knew him. Eventually, he had come to realize that he was a nobody – someone who didn't know himself without the fancy titles of being an S-rank mage of Fairy Tail or Makarov's grandson. He was the man without a mark. And when he came to Tenroujima and rescued his friends, he suddenly had an onslaught of realizations.

He was Laxus Dreyar. He was his own man. He was a Lightning Dragon Slayer. He was powerful in his own right and he was going to use that power to save and protect his friends. Fairy Tail was not just a guild but a place for people with many talents to come home to. Fairy Tail was a big, rambunctious family that cared for people who were not of the same blood. That was when he realized that their bonds were even stronger than blood because they didn't need the excuse of having the same genes to be nice to each other. They were together out of the goodness of their hearts.

That was when Laxus realized that his grandfather's will had transferred itself into his heart.

He was a changed man. Granted, he still had his arrogant streak, but he turned out to be a well-balanced version of himself. His relationship with the Raijinshuu improved drastically, causing the group to have a stronger bond with each other. They have gone through endless numbers of dangerous missions together and he has proven his love for his friends when he swallowed up a dangerous excretion by a member of Tartaros that almost cost him his life.

And that was when he heard Mirajane swear to leave the rest up to them and take it easy.

He reflected on his relationship with the demon takeover mage. There wasn't really anything between them except for the fact that out of all the mages in Fairy Tail (save for his grandfather) she was the one he disappointed and annoyed the most. He insulted her every chance he got. She was the one who tried to beg him to help them with the Phantom Lord incident in which he just threw another insult at her and the guild. He would tease her relentlessly since it seemed that she was the only one with the guts to confront him. Gildarts and Mystogan were often missing while Erza was too wrapped up in the concerns of the majority to even talk to him.

Hearing those words of comfort and assurance from Mirajane Strauss was unsettling. But then again, she was a kind soul.

This was the first time he was sent on a mission with a fellow S-rank mage. He preferred to go on tasks alone or with the Raijinshuu. Thinking about going on any job with another S-rank mage always made him feel uncomfortable. Imagining himself going out on a job with Gildarts where he would be the butt of jokes. The old man would have no inhibitions at all in insulting Laxus because he was so much more powerful and had the seniority. Then there was Mystogan, who was already gone, but whenever he thought about going alone with that big ball of silence was enough to make him want to kill himself.

Erza was a prettier option, but she was never his type. There was something about her bossy, know-it-all vibe that irked him off. He was more powerful than her but she always had the tendency to make him feel like a naïve child – the same way that she made everyone feel.

Then there was Mirajane…

He really didn't know what to expect from her. And now she was assigned with him. He always wanted to see Satan Soul up close and work with it, since it has been a long time since he had actually seen it in battle. In the past, Mira would always gloat about her abilities but Laxus only really managed to see it during her S-class promotion exams. The battle with Jenny Realight doesn't count because it wasn't really a fight.

He sighed at the visions of her trying to be all mommy-mommy to the kids and to him. And worst of all, Juvia Loxar was going to accompany them. The odd woman would have to witness him on a domestic capacity. He also insulted the ameonna before but they had been teammates in the Grand Magic Games. That's when he witnessed the crazy, love-struck schoolgirl that eclipsed all that potential which once earned her the title of S-rank mage of Phantom Lord.

His grandfather didn't give him all the details, that much he knew. He didn't know what was so important about the children that they needed two official S-rank mages and one potential S-rank candidate to guard them. As far as he knew, Juvia won't really be living with them but would have a separate residence on the outskirts of their little cottage as their preliminary protection against any outside forces.

Laxus was never one to ask, choosing to figure it out on his own. He wasn't a big dumb ball of muscles. He was actually very smart, which was something that everyone easily overlooked.

The departing party was going to meet up at the train station. It seemed that the two children were staying with his grandfather at the moment. As agreed, no one knew of their existence except those involved with the mission. Juvia wasn't really that much of a talker whenever Gray wasn't involved. Mirajane was the soul of discretion. No one would ever dare to ask him about his business except for the Raijinshuu and the three were on different jobs.

He looked at the clock at his bedside. 9:00 AM.

Time to go.

Mirajane Strauss was currently trying to leave a list of things to do for her younger sister Lisanna.

Elfman was away and on a mission with Evergreen, leaving their youngest sibling alone. Lisanna wasn't an incompetent, nor was she irresponsible. But after the incident of almost losing her, Mirajane wasn't someone who would take a chance and let Lisanna fend for herself without some extra assurance. She had already secretly talked to Natsu to look after her and she told her younger sister to stay as much as possible at the guild.

"I've already shopped for groceries yesterday," Mira was telling Lisanna, who was sitting on the couch of their living room. "The fridge is fully-stocked and you'll have everything you want here. I also left some money just in case you want to eat at the guild."

"I have money, nee-san," Lisanna said with a pout. "And I can manage."

"I wanted to have someone accompany you here at the house," the older mage continued, seemingly not hearing the words of protest that her sister uttered. "I thought about Cana, but she's uh… not a really responsible roommate."

"You're scared that she's going to force me to drink?" Lisanna interrupted with amusement.

Mira nodded slightly before ranting once more, "And I asked Lucy, but she said that she was going on a mission with the Shadow Gear. Erza's not here and Juvia…"

The youngest Strauss noticed the pregnant pause. "How's Juvia?"

"She's… different."

"She was really hurt," Lisanna stated, her eyes forlorn. "And she's going on a mission with you, right?"

"Yeah," Mira replied.

"Who else are you with? You said it's a mission directly from master."

"Yeah," Mira repeated, not really willing to say that Laxus was also with them.

"Who else are you with?" Lisanna also repeated, a feeling of suspicion rising with her.

Mira turned around and started looking through the pantry, apparently trying to check out things that were still lacking. "Laxus," was all she said.

"L-Laxus-san?!" Lisanna gasped, almost falling over her seat.

Mira shot her sister an odd look. "What? Why?"

Lisanna recovered, her eyes wide. "It's just that you haven't been on a mission with him. You went on a mission with an S-class mage before and that's Erza and that's understandable since she's female, but Laxus-san?"

"Juvia's going to be there too, you know," Mira said gently, smiling.

"I know! But…"

"Laxus has really changed, Lisanna," Mira reprimanded her sister.

"I know that!" Lisanna said, blushing at her blunder. "It's just weird. What's the mission anyway?"

"I can't say. Master's orders," Mira replied.

Lisanna frowned. "I'm really worried, Mira-nee. This is a month-long mission and I don't even know what you're gonna do and where you're gonna go."

Mira's expression softened at that. She went to her sister's side and embraced her. "Don't worry, Lisanna. Can you actually picture us being defeated? I'm with Juvia and Laxus!"

"Well," Lisanna said, a small hint of relief crossing her features, "you have a point. But it still doesn't stop me from worrying."

"That's only natural," Mira declared. "I think I should be worried if you didn't."

"And anyway, Elf-nii's going to come back three days from now," Lisanna stated. "I can't wait for him to come back. I want to know if something went on between him and Ever."

Mira laughed at that. It was obvious that the two mages liked each other despite their spats. She'd want her little brother to settle down someday and establish his own family. She'd have cute little nieces and nephews who, hopefully, wouldn't look like the child she imagined back in Tenroujima.

"When are you going to find a love life, Mira-nee?" Lisanna suddenly asked, catching her older sister off-guard. "It's funny that Elf-nii's the one who's starting before you."

Mira rolled her beautiful, blue eyes. "Those are not the types of things that you rush. And don't be insulting! Elfman can get any girl that he sets his eyes on."

"I highly doubt that," Lisanna joked. "And why not? You're the most beautiful mage in Fiore!"

"No," Mira said. "Jenny is."

"Jenny is because you've been gone for seven years," Lisanna teased. "And when you arrived, you snatched the title right back."

Mira's eyebrows shot up. "Why are you so suddenly interested in my love life?"

Lisanna grinned from ear to ear. "I'm just interested. And you see, you'll be with Laxus-san for about a month. I think anything can happen."

Mira reddened. Her reputation of being a matchmaker was certainly creating a bad influence on her younger sister. It seemed that Lisanna was now taking it upon herself to create love lives for her and Elfman, although their brother didn't really need any of their help with the rate he was going.

And Laxus?!

She really didn't have anything against the Lightning Dragon Slayer. In fact, he was considered as one of the most desirable bachelor-mages around. Even though he wasn't listed at the Top 10 Mages You Want as Your Boyfriend, he was very desirable. The only reason why he wasn't included in that list was because he was very intimidating and powerful. He might have to hunt down and kill Jason the Reporter if he's ever included in that silly list. But without that odd title under his belt, many women wanted to go out with the rugged Laxus Dreyar.

But her? She didn't hold any romantic feelings or attraction for anyone. She was too busy looking after her siblings and the guild in general to care about her love life. Her personal life was centered in keeping the master himself in line and everybody else in good condition. She was the light of their guild, as many put it.

"You've really gone mad, Lisanna," Mira jested, earning a hurt pout from her sister.

The situation that she found herself in was really weird in so many levels. Master Makarov assigned her and Laxus to act as the parents of two children named Niklaus and Ellieanna. She could see the reasoning behind it. The kids did look like they could pass as their offspring. In fact, they look eerily like their son and daughter, if they ever had any. There was also the matter of the reward. The money was enough to cover their guild's debts so naturally, Makarov would readily bite the bait.

She only concluded that the siblings were orphaned children of a very wealthy family who needed to keep them away for a while for the sake of people who might want to steal their money for themselves. It wasn't an uncommon situation and she and her siblings once escorted a duke's daughter across Magnolia and the dangerous forests beyond along with her dowry. This might be one of those things. She really wasn't one to pry for explanations. She just followed orders.

There was also the fact that she wanted to give a mother figure to those children. They must be really sad, as it was apparent by the way they readily jumped into the opportunity of having parents.

How long have they been orphaned? And why?

Then she was a bit anxious with the fact that she was going to have to pretend to be Laxus' wife. At the very least, they were going to a secluded town that didn't have a mage population at all. They were going to a place where the names Laxus Dreyar and Mirajane Strauss didn't mean anything. And she was going there with the name Mirajane Dreyar, Laxus' housewife.

That really brought out mixed reactions from her.

But it shouldn't affect her, really. This was all just pretend. They'd just have to act out whenever there were people around or if they had to go to town. Of course, the children had to lead normal lives like attend a local school or something like that. It was only for four weeks.

They also had Juvia with them, who would be living somewhere at the town. She was stationed to be on the lookout, blending in on the crowd and trying to sniff out potential threats. She was their primary defense. Mira trusted Juvia on this, knowing that the ameonna was a very formidable foe. She just didn't understand why she was the one chosen. Did Juvia volunteer to get away from Gray?

"You seem to be thinking about something really important," Lisanna said, watching her sister carefully.

"I'm sorry," Mira said. "I'm just thinking about the mission. Even I don't know the full details of it."

"Oh," was all that Lisanna muttered. "Well, see you after a month! I'm going to miss you!"

"Me too."

And with that, she hugged Lisanna before departing, a couple of trunks in tow.

"Where are you going?"

Gray Fullbuster was asking Juvia Loxar, who just came out from the Master's office with two children behind her. He shot the kids a suspicious stare, which earned him matching glares that startled him.

The glares were suspiciously familiar, like he had seen it on someone before. Not to mention that the boy and the girl looked like a mixture of people he also knew.

"Juvia is going on a mission," the blue-haired young woman replied, not bothering with her usual theatrics around Gray.

Gray raised his eyebrow at the cold reply. He knew that there was something definitely wrong with Juvia. She obviously didn't take his rejection well. But based on the number of times that he already rejected her, she should have been used to it by now and should have reverted back to her usual self. But now, that wasn't the case. She was different.

"Who're they?" he prodded, pointing at the two glaring children.

"Nobody," was all Juvia said. She was walking out of the guild, much to the surprise of the people who witnessed the interaction.

"Hey!" Gray yelled, running after Juvia's retreating back. He stopped right in front of her, holding her shoulders to prevent her from walking out. His expression suddenly gentled as he looked into her eyes. "I'm sorry about before. But I was only saying the truth."

Juvia gave him a small smile. It was sad and somehow, it made Gray inwardly squirm. He didn't want to see such an expression on Juvia's face. "It's alright," she replied. "Gray has nothing to be sorry for if that was the truth. Juvia will be moving on."

After that statement, Gray swore that the white-haired boy behind her was shaking his head in disappointment. The blonde-haired girl with him was stifling her laughter and it made him think that he may have been on the receiving end of some sort of private joke.

"Seeing them like this makes me feel weird," the girl whispered a little too loudly. Gray's sharp eyes moved to her. She merely shrugged and looked away, resuming with her silent giggling.

And with that, Juvia stepped out of the guild and into the bright sunny environment of Magnolia, the two children following her.

The three walked to the general direction of the train station, carrying their clothes and other necessities. Juvia also carried the allowance that the master gave them. She was tasked to give ¾ of the enormous amount of money to Laxus and Mira, who needed it to start out their little 'family'.

When they finally arrived at their destination, Laxus and Mira were already there. Laxus was sitting on a bench, his face painted with a proud smirk while Mira was seated as far away from him as possible, her face tinged with pink.

Something must have gone wrong, Juvia thought, hurriedly walking towards the S-class mages.

"Is something wrong?" Juvia inquired.

"Nothing," Mira replied a little too quickly. "I'm glad you're here."

"You're four minutes late," Laxus declared, standing to his full height and crossing his arms.

"I apologize," Juvia said. "We were stopped by someone."

"Yeah," Ellieanna suddenly spoke up. "That Gray was giving her a hard time again. Though in the end he's going to – "

She was silenced by Niklaus' sudden loud proclamation of, "You don't have to be impatient, Laxus-san. It's a bad way to treat your children."

Mira laughed as Laxus frowned. But the three Fairy Tail mages were able to catch what Ellie said. All of them were curious as to why this girl knew who Gray was when they hadn't even introduced them to anyone in the guild. They also wanted to know what Gray was going to do. They also didn't miss the fact that Ellie was prone to spilling something out without meaning to and that Nik was the one who covered up for her.

"Laxus-san," Juvia interjected, "Niklaus-kun has a point. You have to start acting like a father."

Mira stopped laughing and agreed. "That's true. Though we have to start boarding now before the train leaves us."

"Yay!" Ellie rejoiced, her hand pumping the air as she grabbed a surprised Mira's hand and dragged her towards the train.

"I think your sister's getting too into this," Laxus observed.

"Too much so, in fact," Nik deadpanned.

Laxus stared incredulously at the boy. He was certainly mature for his age. There was also something constantly bothering his mind. The dragon slayer realized that the boy was merely on tenterhooks trying to look after his very vocal and clumsy twin. But he recognized something in Nik – something very similar to who he was after he lost his father when Ivan was banished.

"You alright, kid?" he blurted out. "You should really try removing that stick up your ass. No son of mine is going to be that gloomy."

At that statement, Laxus swore he saw a grin flash across Niklaus' features. But in the next instant, it was gone and replaced with a mutinous expression as they boarded the train.

Niklaus hurried behind his mother, sister, and Juvia. The statement from his father caught him off guard. He swore never to show too much emotion during this trip. He promised to his great-grandfather and to his parents from the future that he won't give himself away. Time was too much of a fragile thing to be meddled with. If he or Ellie let slip anything that would happen in the future, it could affect everything drastically.

That was what prevented him from enjoying the fact that he was at the place and the time that everything was brighter. He prevented himself from appreciating the Fairy Tail under his great-grandfather's time. Of course, the guild was still a fun place under his father, but still, he wanted to know what inspired the great Laxus Dreyar to continue the tradition. He wanted to know when it all started.

The fact that he couldn't show how he felt towards everything was taking a bit of its toll on him.


His mother's voice jolted him out of his thoughts. The five of them were now standing outside a compartment which, apparently, his dad was bragging about reserving. Without being aware of himself, he suddenly felt an urge to hug his mother. Despite his aloof attitude, he was his mother's son. Her warmth and assurance was always there to guide him through anything. And now, he didn't even know if she and his father were safe.

That was what worried him the most.

"Yes?" he responded, carefully ignoring the fact that his sister was staring at him sadly.

"Are you alright?"


"Well, now that's settled," Laxus interrupted, feeling a bit awkward. "Time to get inside."

The trip was uneventful and mostly silent. They talked mostly about their arrangements. It was decided that Laxus would pretend to be a woodcutter, since that would be a viable reason behind them living deep in the forest. Mirajane would be a herbalist, at the same time, try to be a stay-at-home mom to look after the kids. Juvia would be minding her own business and reporting to them from time to time. They would still be retaining their names, with the exception of course of the mother and her children getting Laxus' surname, which made the dragon slayer look out the window with discomfort. At the very least, they didn't have to introduce themselves to anyone if they can help it. It was the perfect plan.

"So, you guys," Laxus said when they were an hour and a half into the trip, "what exactly are your powers?"

This was one of the questions that Mira wanted to know herself. However, she figured that the master didn't want them to know about it but he didn't say anything against it either. So it may be alright to ask.

"Yes," Mira added. "Is it alright if we know?"

Juvia shifted in her seat. She was the only one from the guild who knew the truth about the identity of the children. She was asked not to reveal anything and she was certain that the kids were also taught so. But what the master didn't really prohibit anything for the S-class mages. They were free to ask anything and it was now up to the kids if they wanted to keep silent or not.

Ellie and Nik were looking at each other, unsure of what to say.

"Listen you two," Laxus said, leaning towards them, "we're not stupid. Mira and I are S-class mages for a reason. We're here to protect you and we know better than to pry. But we at least have to know what we're dealing with. We have to know if you can also protect yourself because from what I saw back then, you sure as hell have a lot of magical power."

At his statement, Ellie's eyes were widening like saucers. She was her father's daughter after all. She wanted to know if she could tell the two of them. She was never one to lie about her abilities to her parents. She may be a trickster, but not about these things.

She sent a pleading look towards Nik, who was stock still. She knew that her brother was someone who was not so easily convinced. He was the critical thinker between the two of them. He was the one who protected her with all of his abilities. He always tried too much and he always wanted to do his best.

Nik slowly shook his head. "How do we know that you're not after our powers too?"

Asking that was something that hurt him, something that he regretted. But he needed to do something so that they would get off their backs. He was doing this to protect all of them and they just didn't know it.

His response earned a gasp from Juvia, a sad look from Mira, and an angry frown from Laxus.

"Ungrateful brat," he spat, his teeth gritted. "We're here to protect you and you can be damned sure that whatever power you have, I wouldn't want them."

After saying that, the dragon slayer remained silent for the entire ride. Mira, on the other hand, quickly recovered from her crestfallen expression and smiled sweetly at Niklaus.

"I'm sorry for that," she said. "We were just curious. And I think Master told you not to tell us, huh?"

Nik nodded mutely, a bit scared at being the subject of the full force of his father's annoyance. Laxus was always gruffly gentle with his children and Nik had seen him angry. This was one of the instances when the blonde mage was mad and Niklaus, his unknown son, incited it.

"Well good going, baka," Ellie mumbled to his ear.

"Shut up," he retorted.

"Why don't you shut up?" Ellie ground out.

"If you keep arguing, you might end up showing us your powers," Mira warned.

Juvia watched the interaction with interested eyes. She really felt like she was an intruder in this mission – a fifth wheel of some sort. Well, she always felt like she was unwanted. But then again, pushing all insecurities aside, it was fun watching and knowing that this was Laxus and Mira's family. It still left her astonished that the two powerful mages would eventually marry each other and have children. If this left her flabbergasted, imagine the reactions of this two when they find out that Niklaus and Ellieanna were their children from the future. That's why it was probably for the best that Nik had fended off the questions.

But it seemed that it was also against the boy's will that he had to resort to such methods in doing so.

They knew the trip was going to take overnight, given how vast the country was and how far their destination was. They all settled down in their bunks which was part of their massive compartment. However, there was a slight predicament.

There were only four beds. Naturally, Juvia would take one. Now, there was the issue of where exactly each one of the remaining passengers would rest.

"Tch," Laxus said. "I never knew that they would take everything literally."

"What do you mean?" Mira asked, puzzled.

"Well, to make things less suspicious, I placed tickets for family class and a nanny," Laxus answered, smirking at a miffed Juvia. "So with this huge ass bunk over here, they probably think that me and my wife sleep together and they gave these tiny elf beds for the brats."

"Stop calling us brats," Niklaus countered.

"Yeah, yeah, stop being so sensitive, boy," Laxus said. He really had no idea why this kid had a stick so far up his ass. He wasn't someone who was very patient with children nor did he want to pretend to just because they were being paid a huge sum of money.

Mira was observing the squabbling pair, trying to remove her thoughts from the fact that she might have to sleep beside Laxus. Although, she realized that she had to get used to it because they would be living together. She just hoped fervently that they had separate bedrooms in the cottage.

After a few minutes of trying to move about the compartment as if this would change the inevitable, they finally settled down to varying degrees of comfortable sleep.

The next day when they arrived at their 'house' late in the afternoon, luck was not on Mirajane's side.

They finally reached the place with the help of Reedus' magically drawn map which pointed them to the right direction. Laxus wondered out loud how Fairy Tail had a cottage like this. It wasn't like anyone needed it and it wasn't like anyone would want to live here.

The house was beautiful and cozy. There was a fence around it with a considerable patch of land which could definitely be used for gardening. The house was made of stone and the roof was painted red. The wooden door opened with the lock that was given to them and inside was a comfortable couch and table facing a brick fire. When they stepped inside, the house was in order as if it was prepared for them. The dining area was joined to a quaint kitchen.

And to Mirajane's shock, there were only two bedrooms.

They first went into the twins' room. There were two beds with plain sheets, already arranged and clean. There was a toy box and a few decorative choices that made the place fit for children.

"Finally!" Ellie sighed as she claimed the bed nearest the window.

Nik groaned. "I want to sleep there."

"And why?" Ellie challenged, glaring at her twin. "I was the one who got here first."

"You never let me get anything I want," Nik stated, his arms crossed in front of his chest. This was one of those moments that Ellie felt a hint of guilt creep within her. Her brother was right. He always defended her and protected her. With a huff, she jumped off the bed and went to the other side of the room, sitting grumpily on the other one.

Laxus smirked at the children's antics. They really argue a lot but in the end, one of them would give way. Mostly it was Niklaus. Now he understood just a little bit why the kid was grumpy all the time. Having someone as exuberant and spoiled as Ellie on your back 24/7 was something that could make anyone pissed.

But it was obvious that they still loved each other.

He then looked down to his left. Mira was standing there, a frown across her lips. It was as if she was having an internal debate on a certain subject. He didn't have to wonder what that was.

His smirked went wider as he suddenly put his arm around Mira's small waist and led him out of the twins' room. She squeaked and blushed as he opened the door to their bedroom.

The entire area was just right. There was a huge double bed at the center with a closet just across it. There was a table on either side with a lamp on the other. It was homely and definitely something that you could find in an everyday household.

But not something that Mirajane would ever experience in her everyday life.

"No need to be shy, honey," Laxus teased, urging her forward as he flopped down the bed, arms cradling the back of his head. He looked very relaxed as he grinned mischievously up at her. "Since we're married, we have to get used to each other at some point in time."

"B-but," Mirajane spluttered, "I don't think that would be necessary, Laxus. I mean, we're going to pretend to be married for images' sake. It's not like we have other people here looking into us."

Laxus' smirk never removed itself from his face. "If we're going to make it believable, we have to be used to each other's company. And we're not going to stay holed up here forever. The kids have to go to school, you have to sell your little herbs and I have to go to work."

Mira sighed. The man had a point. "But no one's going to peek into our room," she justified lamely.

Laxus rolled his eyes and scowled. "I'm not going to rape you in your sleep, woman. And if it bothers you that much, I'll take the couch."

He stood up and went out of the house without a backwards glance. He was a fool to even think that Mira believed in him and his metamorphosis. His temper was already near boiling point the moment he was assigned with this crappy mission, saddled with difficult children. He found himself out of the house and into the woods in a small amount of time.

Juvia's surprised gaze followed the thunderous Laxus who passed her by in the living room. A few seconds later, Mira appeared from the room, her face downtrodden.

"What happened, Mira-san?" she asked.

"It's nothing," Mira replied, smiling slightly. "Just a little misunderstanding. The kids still in their room?"

Juvia nodded. "Juvia needs to go. She still has to find her new quarters."

"Are you sure you're okay being alone, Juvia?" Mira asked, concern in her voice.

"Juvia will be fine, Mira-san. Besides, she needs some time alone."

The white-haired mage understood. It really seemed like Juvia took this mission to get away from Gray for some time. God knows how much she needed it. She may be trying to get over the Ice-make wizard but secretly, Mira wished that she fight for the man's affections. Gray may not have noticed it yet, but he cared for Juvia more than he let on.

"Be careful," she said as Juvia walked out of the door.

"Thank you, Mira-san," Juvia responded. "Please tell Ellie-chan and Nik-kun to take care. Juvia will check and fortify the protective barriers around the place and she will report tomorrow."

"Join us for dinner!" she called after the water mage.

"No thanks. Juvia thinks she will go sight-seeing and eat local cuisine."

Mira smiled at that. "I think I'm gonna ask Laxus and the children to do that some time too. Thanks again, Juvia. Take care of yourself."

"Juvia will."

When the door closed, Ellie and Nik went out of their room and towards Mira.

"Where's Aunt Juvia?" Ellie asked.

"She had to go find her place," Mira replied.

"Where's Dad?" the girl continued.

Someone calling Laxus 'Dad' was definitely surprising to anyone who could hear. Mira smiled faintly, "He's gone out."

"Did you guys fight?" Nik inquired, his sharp gaze that looked so much like Laxus' pierced through Mira.

Mira laughed. "What makes you say that?"

"Nothing," he responded. "Based from experience, couples who get into fights often ends up with one of them walking out."

"How do you know, Nik? Have you ever been in a relationship?" Mira teased, giggling slightly. Her mirth was joined by Ellie's.

"No," the boy said, glowering at his laughing sister. What he actually meant to say was that based on what he knew from his parents, Laxus often walked out of their house whenever he and Mirajane had bad arguments. But that occurrence was rare. Their parents seldom ever fought with each other.

"Hai, hai," Mira said, letting it go.

"Actually," Ellie suddenly piped in, "Nik has a crush on someone. It's Geraldine. She's Uncle Je – "

"Will you shut it?!" Nik growled at his sister and left the two females standing in the living room.

"What - ?" Mira started to say but was stopped by Ellie's laughter.

"Don't worry, mom," she assured the older woman. "He's always the one who walks out whenever we fight."

Doesn't that sound familiar?

I know this is pretty short, but it's in preparation for the next chapter. It's gonna be filled with MiraXus' electric tension. ;)